Informa plans more events as demand bounces back

Informa plans more events as demand bounces back

Event organiser Informa Markets Thailand plans to host more exhibitions to combat rising operational costs and maximise its revenue, as demand for face-to-face meetings recovers following the pandemic.

"The pandemic proved that face-to-face meetings are more effective for business," said Sanchai Noombunnam, the company's country general manager.

This year the company expects to host 16 exhibitions, up from 14 in 2022 and 9-10 events per year prior to the pandemic, said Mr Sanchai.

Informa Markets Thailand, which focuses on international exhibitions for business-to-business meetings in Thailand, is part of Informa Plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In 2022 the company earned 640 million baht in revenue, or 70% of the 2019 total, Mr Sanchai said. Informa expects 900 million baht in revenue this year, or 90% of the 2019 total, driven by new events.

According to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), exhibitions make up 60-70% of the annual revenue of overall Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) events in Thailand.

Informa plans to launch two new events this year: Jewellery & Gem Asean Bangkok in April, and Plastic & Rubber Thailand in May.

Three new events were launched last year: the Maintenance, Industrial Robotics and Automation event (MiRA) and Subcon EEC; Cosmoprof CBE Asean; and Vitafoods Asia.

Mr Sanchai said the fastest recovering industry was food, which was accelerating growth in related sectors such as food packaging, healthcare, and dietary.

Renewable energy has also been a booming industry since the pandemic.

Demand for exhibitions this year has been strong, as seen from the 90% occupancy of the Jewellery and Gem Asean fair.

However, challenges remain with inflation, the Russia-Ukraine war, and Covid-19, which has not completely ended, Mr Sanchai added.

Informa's profit margin in 2022 was still lower than that of 2019, while exhibitions had been downsized, he said.

As normality is expected to return next year, the firm will maintain the number of annual events at 16 before adding new shows in 2025.

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